PJ arrests luxury homes in Lisbon from global drug trafficking network

PJ arrests luxury homes in Lisbon from global drug trafficking network
PJ arrests luxury homes in Lisbon from global drug trafficking network

The Judiciary Police (PJ) arrested two houses in Avenidas Novas, in Lisbon, “of great importance” for the summit of an international organization dedicated to trafficking cocaine from Brazil to Europe, now dismantled in an operation coordinated by Europol. The properties are valued, in total, at 2.5 million euros.

The national authorities also discovered, as the JN had reported on Wednesday, about 12 million euros in cash in a van parked in a garage in the capital. The notes had been hidden within more than ten suitcases.

In total, on November 23, 15 home and non-home searches were carried out in Portugal, under which “a large volume of documentation” and computer and telecommunications equipment was apprehended. PJ.

The diligences were accompanied by simultaneous actions in Brazil, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. In all, 179 home and non-home searches were carried out and 45 people were detained, the majority (38) in Brazil.

In Portugal, no suspect was arrested, said this Friday at a press conference at the headquarters of the PJ in Lisbon, the director of the Unit to Combat Drug Trafficking in that institution.

“Our focus must increasingly be not only on the seizure of drugs and the detention of people, but also on the decapitalization of these criminal organizations, in order to cut the [sua] capacity to act “, maintained Artur Vaz.

In addition to the amounts seized in the national territory, 37 aircraft in Brazil, 70 luxury cars in Brazil, Belgium and Spain and two properties valued at four million euros in Spain were seized, among other assets.

“It is a historic operation”, stressed, in Lisbon, the national director of the PJ, Luís Neves.

45 tons of cocaine per year

According to Artur Vaz, the network has trafficked, at least since 2017, 45 tons of cocaine per year from Brazil to Europe. According to the Spanish National Police, in the last six months alone, it will have achieved profits of 100 million euros.

“These benefits move, hide and diversify through a complex network of accountants and trust mules in different countries of the European Union”, adds, in the note, the institution. Portugal was one of the countries where bank accounts were arrested, in a global amount yet to be determined.

According to the Brazilian press, the head of the chain would be a 62-year-old former military policeman from that country.

The operation – dubbed “Enterprise” in Brazil and “Camaleão” in Europe, including Portugal – was revealed on November 23 by the Government of Brazil, the culmination of an investigation initiated in September 2017, after the seizure, in the state from Paraná, of 776 kilos of cocaine about to be expelled to the port of Antwerp in Belgium.

Over three years, 52 tonnes allegedly connected to the now dismantled network were seized, Europol said in a statement this Thursday.

In addition to the PJ and the Spanish National Police, the Federal Police of Brazil, the Federal Judicial Police of Belgium, the National Police of the Netherlands, the Police of Romania and, in the final phase, the Police of also participated in the operation.

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